Disputed Deposit On Condo Shared
By: Josh Barbanel
February 29th, 2012
Scarlett Johansson’s mother won back part of a disputed deposit she put down on a high-rise Manhattan apartment in a court settlement signed on Wednesday. The case focused on the falling income of Ms. Johansson’s mother as the former agent of her famous actress daughter.
The case in Manhattan state Supreme Court also was testing the validity of a standard contract clause allowing a would-be buyer who can’t get a mortgage to back out of a purchase agreement.
But after a dispute over claims of confidential details appearing in the media, the parties agreed to each share part of the $130,000 deposit on a two-bedroom apartment at the 41-story Strand on West 43rd Street.
Exact details weren’t disclosed, but lawyers for both sides said their clients were satisfied with the settlement.
Ms. Johansson’s mother, Melanie Sloan, backed out of the $1.395 million purchase in November. She indicated she couldn’t obtain a mortgage because of “loss of her largest client” after she signed the purchase contract, according to her court papers.
But the lawyers for the couple selling the apartment said Ms. Johansson, who wasn’t a party in the case, had dropped her mother as her agent in October, 2009, and that Ms. Sloan had long known her income would be declining.
Adam Leitman Bailey, an attorney for the sellers, said his clients “are very happy with the amount they were able to keep.”
Morrell I. Berkowitz, who represented Ms. Sloan. said the dispute “was amicably settled.” “It was a garden variety dispute over the contract deposit,” he said.
After the deal with Ms. Sloan fell through, the sellers, Christina Castelli and Grant Moffett, put it back on the market and a week ago it was listed in contract.
ScarJo puts mom in ‘out’ house
She’s the mother of one of the world’s biggest movie stars — but she can’t afford to buy a Manhattan apartment.
Scarlett Johansson’s mom and former manager, Melanie Sloan, signed a contract to purchase a $1.4 million two-bedroom in Midtown in October.
But less than two months later, the California dweller sued the owner of the 1,228-square-foot pad in The Strand at 500 W. 43rd St. — a doorman building with a swimming pool — demanding the return of her $130,000 deposit. She claimed she is cash-poor and can’t obtain a mortgage, according to court papers.
The real-estate battle offers a rare peek into the finances of a stage mother, whose famous daughter was a cash cow until she canned her mom two years ago and hired a professional manager.
Even though Sloan attempted to manage clients besides her daughter, the move left ScarJo’s mom with no major source of income, according to her lawyers.
Last October, Sloan, 60, presented the apartment sellers, violinist Christina Castelli and pianist Grant Moffett, with a strong financial profile, even claiming 2011 was one of her “best years yet in the entertainment industry,” according to the sellers’ lawyers. The move would bring her closer to ScarJo, who lives in Manhattan.
The stage mom managed her daughter’s career since Scarlett made her big-screen debut at age 9 in Rob Reiner’s “North.” She took a 10 percent cut of all earnings, according to a contract reviewed by The Post. ScarJo’s parents separated when she was 13.
But in November 2009, Scarlett sacked mom in favor of Hollywood power agent Rick Yorn, whose roster includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz.
“Once I got married, I felt that I needed to cut the cord,” the 26-year-old star told Vanity Fair last month. (She divorced actor Ryan Reynolds in July.)
Sloan told the seller she still had money coming in from projects she had signed for ScarJo, including campaigns with Moët Champagne, Dolce & Gabbana and the “Iron Man” movies.
But now she claims the money spigot has been turned off. A few weeks after signing the contract, Sloan suddenly cried poverty.
On Nov. 14, Sloan’s accountant wrote that the loss of her daughter as a client was a damaging blow to her earning potential, according to the sellers’ lawyers.
On Nov. 25, Hudson City Savings Bank denied Sloan a mortgage, according to court papers.
Sloan is now suing not only for her deposit, but for another $20,000 to cover attorney fees, according to filings.
Because she seemed wealthy on paper, the sellers signed a contract that allowed Sloan to cancel the deal if she failed to obtain a mortgage. But Sloan may have had less money in the pipeline than she thought.
In a Nov. 9 e-mail to ScarJo’s agent, Sloan writes to inquire about upcoming payments related to her daughter’s work.
“Do you know if there are any further Moët or D&G payments next year? Scarlett said there was something due,” she wrote to agent Troy Bailey in an e-mail obtained by The Post. The response was hardly enough to cover the Manhattan pad.
“The only payment [Scarlett] has due in 2012 is $250,000 from Moët,” Bailey responded.
Sloan would get a $25,000 cut from that campaign.
“We don’t understand how she went from being rich to poor in two weeks,” said Adam Leitman Bailey, a lawyer for the sellers.
“She acted in bad faith, and therefore our clients have the legal right to keep her down payment.”
Scarlett Johansson’s Mother Almost Went Homeless When $165M Rich Daughter Fired Her As Manager After 15 Years
Scarlett Johansson is regarded among the most talented actors in Hollywood, portraying some excellent roles over the years. The beautiful diva has swooned her fans with grace and thrilling action sequences. The actress is known for her versatility in her acting and a badass attitude. The actress started her career at the young age of 9, and till now, she has received nominations for two Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards.
Johansson’s mother had been her manager since she made her acting debut as a child actress. However, after years of working alongside her mother, the actress replaced her with another agent in 2009.
Scarlett Johansson’s mother Melanie Sloan went through a financial struggle after being fired
The Black Widow actress fired her mother as her manager in 2009. As per ABC News, Sloan started experiencing financial issues in 2012. When Johansson was pregnant with her second child, she dropped her mother and replaced her with a professional agent, Rick Yorn. The agent also represents stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake, and Cameron Diaz.
Johansson’s mother Sloan claimed in late 2011 that she could no longer afford the $1.4 million Manhattan apartment, which she signed a contract to buy just three weeks prior. Due to the lack of resources, she decided to not buy the apartment and sued the landlords for her $130,000 deposit in January 2012. She alleged that she no longer has sufficient income to obtain a mortgage.
Adam Leitman Bailey, the lawyer for the sellers, shared with ABC News,
“I don’t understand how someone’s financial situation changes so quickly. We think she’s committing fraud and we believe she is not due the deposit back.”
Scarlett Johansson’s mother emailed her agent Troy Bailey about leftover royalties under her daughter’s employ. She wrote,
“Do you know if there are any further Moët or D&G payments next year? Scarlett said there was something due.”
Sloan thought she would be receiving some funds in residuals from her daughter, hence, she had sent the mail via The New York Post.
The agent replied that the only payment due in 2012 was $250,000 from Moët, from which Sloan would receive $25,000. But i5 was not enough for her to afford the apartment.
Why Scarlett Johansson fired her mother as her manager?
Jojo Rabbit fame Scarlett Johansson shared with Vanity Fair about the reason she fired her mom Melanie Sloan. She was her manager until 2009, but Johansson felt she needed to move independently away from her family after her first marriage to Ryan Reynolds, as per the New York Post in 2008. She said,
“Once I got married, I felt that I needed to cut the cord.”
There is no animosity between Johansson and her mother. According to a Daily News source, the Iron Man fame thought that her mother Sloan’s legal woes in 2012 were due to her extravagant lifestyle. She did not want to support her mother’s lavish life. Despite parting ways professionally, Johansson and her mother share a close bond.